Spent the day in Kenting yesterday. It’s a resort area two hours drive south from Pingtung City. All of us TUSA students ran into the ocean to swim on arrival and the water was as warm as a bath. Most of our Taiwanese companions stood on the shore watching, either because they were afraid of sharks or didn’t like salt water. Props to those gals who jumped in with all their clothes on.
The beach was followed by a rather disastrous trip to Sichongshi hot springs (well, disastrous for me at least, that’s another story). Sichongshi sits back in the mountains: it is Taiwan at its wild and beautiful best. The hot spring resort was nestled between two green, forested peaks. There was a wild monkey sitting in a tree at the hot spring, chirping and throwing fruit at us meiguoren.
Having been to the beach and Sichongshi before with my nanpengyou (that’s “boyfriend” for you English-speaking types) on the Taiwan trip of 2008, yesterday’s excursion just made me miss him and home, painfully so. I must say that overall I haven’t thought too much about home since I’ve been here. Maybe I’ve had a few instantaneous moments where I felt a longing for certain things in my American life. So in no particular order I bring you the top ten things I miss about America, Reno, and my home:
1. Mexican food. Not cheese covered Tex-Mex mind you, but Chile Colorado, Chile Verde, chorizo tacos, fresh tamales, burritos filled with carnitas, horchata, ceviche, etc. God Bless Mexico and Nevada’s proximity to it.
2. My boyfriend, Kamil. This could fill spaces 2 – 10, but alas, I’ll leave it at: I MISS YOU KOHANIE!!! There’s no one to whine to on lazy Saturday afternoons such as this one about how I am bored and want a sandwich.
3. #2 brings me to this one: I want a sandwich. Italian meats, aioli, crusty bread, fresh tomatoes… you get the point.
4. Food that tastes like something. I am sorry Taiwan, many of your dishes are delicious but your national palette seems to favor mild-flavored food. Which is fine, but hot damn I could go for some spicy Indian cuisine about now. Please someone send me a bottle of hot sauce.
5. Drinking. I like to drink. No one else here seems to like it as much as I do. (Point of clarification: I like to have a drink or two, I don’t like to get drunk.) Jameson, Jack, Jim: I miss you so very much. Also, mixed drinks aren’t really popular here thus no one knows how to make them. I guess it’ll be more whiskey & cola in a can from Family Mart ’til I get back home.
6. Insect and lizard free bathrooms. Nuff said.
7. Having toilet paper and hand soap provided in every bathroom. I am getting sick of having to remember to bring toilet paper with me in my purse every where I go… sometimes I have forgotten to bring it and found myself in a jam.
8. Hot coffee in the mornings. Sure, I can get that here but I have to walk about twenty minutes for it.
9. Reading magazines. There is nothing I like more than curling up with a cup of #8 and a Newsweek on a weekend morning. I am so desperate for topical reading material I would even be happy to see an FHM or Cosmopolitan magazine… well, maybe not the Cosmo.
10. Watching television and being able to completely understand what I am looking at. We have a few English-language movie channels here in the dorms. All they show are terrible movies I have never even heard of, starring such folks as Valerie Bertenelli and nameless, reformed soft-core porn actors. I brought the entire series of Sex and the City on DVD with me, but I am already starting Season 5 and have a month left to go. It’s going to be a looooong month….
Ta for now.